HomeNewsBriefMoney Runs Out for Belize Gang Truce
BRIEF

Money Runs Out for Belize Gang Truce

BELIZE / 24 DEC 2012 BY JEREMY MCDERMOTT EN

The Belize government, struggling to meet national debt payments, has ended its controversial gang truce program, a measure almost certain to result in increased violence and homicides in 2013.

After spending more than $1 million, the Belize government announced that funding for the gang truce had dried up, reported Belize Times. The last payment was scheduled for this month. Begun in September 2011, the gang truce provided work opportunities for some 200 gang members, essentially paying them not to kill each other, at a cost of around $20,000 a week.

The truce led to an immediate drop in homicides, even though there were some isolated outbreaks of gang violence, particularly in April and May 2012. However none of the government money went into finding long-term solutions to address Belize's gang problem.

InSight Crime Analysis

Inspired in part by the Mara truce in El Salvador, the Belize program took a different direction. Whereas in El Salvador the truce was brokered by the Catholic Church, and involved better prison conditions for gang leaders, in Belize the government effectively paid the 13 gangs in the program not to engage in criminal activities. This caused controversy, with critics insisting there were far more deserving targets for the funds, and better social investment projects that would have a longer lasting impact.

While the gang truce certainly lead to a reduction in violence, it may have actually strengthened some of the gangs, which better organized themselves to take advantage of the government subsidies. While there is the presence of both the powerful Central American gangs, Mara Salvatrucha and Barrio 18, most of the Belize gangs style themselves after the US Bloods and Crips. The most powerful street gang in Belize is believed to be the George Street Bloods. Other Bloods gangs include Kings Park Posse, P.I.V., The Jungle, and Brick City, while the Crips have Majestic Alley Crips, River-Side Crips, Ghost Town Crips and Third World.

The tiny nation of Belize is becoming increasingly important as a transit nation for cocaine heading northwards to Mexico and the principal market of the US. There is not yet any evidence of Belizean Street gangs getting involved in the transnational element of the drug industry, although they do make money from the local distribution of drugs, particularly marijuana.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Tags

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

BARRIO 18 / 19 JUL 2012

El Salvador's "mara" gangs may be moving into Belize, according to reports, with both the MS-13 and Barrio 18 having…

BELIZE / 29 APR 2014

Authorities in Belize have reported a ceasefire between gangs in the south of the country's largest city following a surge…

BELIZE / 20 NOV 2012

Belize has reportedly registered 124 homicides between January and November, putting the sparsely populated Central America nation on track for its…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Criminal Enterprise on the High Seas

12 AUG 2022

Last week, InSight Crime published the second half of an extensive investigation into Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing that plagues the waters of nine Latin American countries. Among the stories were how…

THE ORGANIZATION

Oceans Pillaged in Central America and the Caribbean

5 AUG 2022

Last week, InSight Crime published the first installment of a nine-part investigation uncovering the hidden depths of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing in Latin America. The first installment covered Central America and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela’s Tren de Aragua Becomes Truly Transnational

29 JUL 2022

This week, InSight Crime published a deep dive into the total control that Venezuelan mega-gang, Tren de Aragua, has over the lives of those it smuggles between Venezuela and Chile…

THE ORGANIZATION

Turkish Traffickers Delivering Latin American Cocaine to Persian Gulf

15 JUL 2022

Last week, InSight Crime published the second half of an investigation piecing together the emerging role of Turkish cocaine traffickers in supplying Russia and the Persian Gulf, which are among…

THE ORGANIZATION

Turkey as a Lynchpin in European Cocaine Pipeline

8 JUL 2022

InSight Crime is extending its investigation into the cocaine pipeline to Europe, and tracking the growing connections between Latin American drug traffickers and European criminal organizations. This led us to…